Apparently, the U.S. Department of Justice thinks the answer to the above question is “yes.” The agency presumes to know just how much pain medication, and what type and dose, each and every inhabitant of the country will require each year, an upside-down debacle by any measure.
Some experts have argued that America's expensive, inefficient health care system is to blame for our intense vaccine hesitancy. While this is a plausible explanation, it misses the key problem—the politicization of medicine, along with almost everything else in our culture.
Among the many lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic is how cumbersome one‐size‐fits‐all regulations, administered by an impersonal bureaucracy, hamper a rapid and flexible response to an evolving public health emergency. The U.S. Navy Medical Corps provides us with a recent example.
Last week Arizona Governor Doug Ducey exercised his best judgment, aiming to expand the scope of the health care workforce during the COVID-19 public health emergency. And yet health care practitioners lack the same ability, based upon their knowledge and their patients’ circumstances, to use their best judgment when treating pain.
When coronavirus patients are admitted to all general hospitals, the risk of infecting other patients as well as hospital personnel is a serious concern. One way to address this problem is to consider isolating coronavirus patients to certain designated medical centers thus reducing the likelihood of exposure to other patients and their attending medical staff.
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently issued a national emergency order to pay doctors for services rendered to patients in states in which they are not licensed to practice, so long as they hold an equivalent license in another state. This would be a good move. Luckily, many states are already ahead of the federal government on implementing such measures.
The systematic erosion of continuity of care has financial and personal health costs. This is well-known, especially to health professionals, and it's supported by overwhelming evidence. And yet, it persists.
A new report on the plight of practicing physicians reflects a broken system. Nearly half of physicians plan to change careers, so maybe it's finally time to include them in the discussion on healthcare fixes.
How far will behavioral economics go to improve our health and decrease costs?
Anthem continues to practice medicine without a license in determining which patients should have anesthesiologists providing care during cataract surgery.
Meaningful use reform (in the funding bill just signed by the President) is vital toward curtailing the onerous nature of Electronic Health Records' implementation. When satisfying government IT requirements becomes more important than the needs of a patient getting cancer surgery or a doctor’s providing that care, we are really missing the point.
How about companies just telling it like it is – in all its forms? We need to do better than Theranos, and the hubris of 23andMe that warranted FDA intervention and sanctioning of the firm.